Skip to main content
8:00 pm
to illinois and gave me a chance to grow up in a great place with a great family. that is my story and that is america's story. mr. president, i yield the floor. ..
8:01 pm
>> is a collection of stories on the history of popular culture. when you say popular culture, it is quite more than that. i believe that what i have been trying to do is go into more detail as to how popular culture impacts the politics and sports and other arenas. it is not just about pop culture. it is about what we have for stories about popular music. sports biographies. we have had some history of media. so i purposely castanet to see what we had. >> were with the founder and publisher jack boyle sunday at 8:00 p.m. on c-span "q&a." >> the forum on the health
8:02 pm
insurance exchanges. the former head of medicare and medicaid and michael burgess of texas on the subcommittee. politico pro posted this one hour at events. >> good evening, i want to thank you for joining us at the politico health care breakfast. thank you for joining us. we are live streaming as well. we have a good panel and we are going to talk about state involvement and some of the other aspects that are happening on the ground. i would like to thank cbs for their partnership on this series of the pro-health care breakfast
8:03 pm
briefings. here to say a few words from cbs and caremark. >> good morning, everyone. >> we are thrilled to be sponsoring this event and to have such an esteemed group of people and participants on the panel. the affordable care act has been described as one of the most complex implementations. that is the way that it could be that october 1 is the implementation of these dates. it is somewhat like building a bridge that is really an excellent description.
8:04 pm
we are trying to figure out how to make this work with the government sector and nonprofit corporations. so one of the ways to make that connection is to fill the knowledge gap that exists. cbs and caremark released research that shows that 36% of people that we have surveyed were likely to enroll in the health care exchanges and we need more help and information as we think about all this. even more striking, half of those people who are eligible for subsidies do not know that they are eligible for subsidies. we also found the overall awareness is up 74%. in other words, more people know that this is coming and they are prepared to do something. at cvs and caremark, we help you
8:05 pm
help the consumer navigate their benefits. we are helping customers enroll in these new plans. 68% of the people that were surveyed actually just expect pharmacies to be able to provide to them with exchange related information. we hope to make this program work for all the americans we can serve. thank you very much. i'm not.
8:06 pm
>> we want to thank everyone for watching us. you can tweak your questions in the hash tag today is the health care breakfast briefing and i will be tracking this from the tablet. y'all know that i got it right last time. we would like to welcome our panelists. we have representative michael burgess who is the chairman of the house energy subcommittee on health. good morning to you. >> good morning. we also have the director for the national academy for state health care policy and the director of health programs and the california health foundation and the president and ceo.
8:07 pm
we are going to have a great discussion and we will be taking questions from the audience as well. okay, let's get started. we wanted to get some state specific knowledge and a national overview. we are going to break down the mechanics of what is going well, what you're worried about, also it has become a red hot political issue. i think we have all seen it the last few weeks, it has risen back to the intensity that we have seen before. i wanted to get from the three of you, first of all, i wanted to question a little bit about what we know here what the elements are like in washington. how intends has it been? i think this is probably an easy question from texas, but let's start there.
8:08 pm
>> sure come, the short answer to the question is yes, i want to give people a moment to check their programs. i thought this was a health care briefing. [laughter] >> you're also a physician and ob/gyn. >> yes, who canceled on me at the last minute. [laughter] >> with everything i have told you so far, i said that no bill would come to the house floor get through the senate and the supreme court will take care of this and that will take care of it. >> one of our editors was just speaking about this. >> we are taking that financial responsibility and it is not
8:09 pm
something that the governor has said that we are going to do. even though the state legislature is in special session, we see them working on other things and not theirs. everything is right on track him everything is right on schedule. when you look around, things are kind of following. because we have this little trail of debris that is left behind for the affordable care act. the bumps down the road. obviously july 2, the revelations and it was very startling we're just a few weeks before, can he do this, will you have to delay it, you have to know the scope. and then a few short weeks later
8:10 pm
we have to face the headlines. one of the most troubling things to me is the concept that since we are not collecting and what could go wrong with that. but it is of concern to me. we are part of the subsidy we capture. because i don't know people are actually aware if this will be a subsidy available to them, they are going to be asked how much money you're going to earn this year. it would be difficult to know how much i'm going to earn into your head because there are a lot of unknowns. the subsidy, of course, will be paid primarily to the insurance company. so there is still a lot of anxiety and question marks about
8:11 pm
october 1. stay tuned. >> is there a trail of debris in california? >> no, i would not say that. we have established a state-based exchange we are talking about the medicaid expansion under the affordable care act. many important milestones have been had. the political environment is not particularly divisive in part because we have a democrat controlled legislature as well as a democratic government. but again, i think the stay tuned, and is not out of place in california either. it is a very complicated law with many moving parts.
8:12 pm
>> ito coming we have many conservatives, governor brownback, insurance commissioner who has wanted to go ahead with the implementation and a governor who doesn't want to go near it. and the governor prevailed. as you keep track, what is the intensity their. >> the politics is interesting. i have lived in texas for 50 years. i still have trouble understanding it. it's like you have kansas, that has transformed itself and quickly disproved when kathleen sebelius was elected and is dropped off over the last two years of her term.
8:13 pm
will with me leaving with governor brownback elected and the legislature has been extremely conservative. yet there are elements of moderate politics. we have this very interesting dynamic for the last couple of years where the republican governor very strongly against the medicaid expansion in the aca in general, one more moderate republican who actually supported the legislation wanted very badly from exchange to be set up in four to be implemented. it has been very interesting to watch. >> is very interesting. you have lived through the implementation, which was hard and complicated. it was not as technically as complicated.
8:14 pm
we are two months now. i mean, how in the spectrum, it will be bumpy, but it will work as well. it will all fall apart. what do you worry about when you are alone? >> so i guess that is a pretty wide margin and i think it is going to vary from state to state in some states like california we have a lot of outreach and education activities we are not expanding
8:15 pm
medicaid and the republican side has not had as much exposure to the lot. this is different from the medicare part b implementation, one is to make a distinction between the philosophical and political differences about where our country's health care system should head. and when patent means probably for the public. it is just an issue where we do have very different views in congress throughout the country. that is going to continue for a wild. it is what does this mean for me, and i think that this will mean some questions, republicans, democrats, we have resources that will be available.
8:16 pm
we did a whole round of outreach this is the pose that medicare modernization made it not a philosophical issue, but we want to make sure people come to you with questions or when you have questions, where to go to get answers and work with them with these kinds of tools. we are taking more of a different approach of a campaign style. 7 million switchover of their coverage on one day. we are working through these month or two and the vast majority of medicare has talked
8:17 pm
about the enrollment period that ended. that is not likely to happen in this case. everyone's projections, they're going to be a lot of people that remain uninsured after this first open enrollment. matt, by their own choice and because there is not a medicaid expansion as of yet in the state. so this is going to be a several year implementation process debating whether this is the right way to go and modifications to the program along the way. >> a similar assessment, probably all of the states are many of the graves there is a difference about what is actually happening on the ground. has that gap widened?
8:18 pm
or it may vary. there are states that are doing federal exchanges that are still working on this. >> let me start with the age-old policy adage, which is you have seen one state, you have seen one state. but that is something that having been said, i think that i can talk about groups of states and groupings. they are the states that have embraced reform, state-based exchanges, they are working hard and they are going to be ready for opening in october. the directors -- and we work closely with them, i spent a day recently with five of the ceos of the exchanges and these are people who are not in it for a job. they are mission driven.
8:19 pm
their mission is to get the doors open, if you will. but it is not going to be the 2.0 version that we will see over time. it is going to be offering options for coverage with a lot of creativity and in terms of the way that they are connecting with consumers. then you have the states that are the partners of the federal government and even there, while you don't have a lot of activity necessarily a political level, you have political employees that are civil servants and have a job to do. in all the states their job is to protect the consumers and to make sure that the coverage that they have this quality coverage and that there are no ill kind
8:20 pm
of things that are going on. they take that job very seriously. some of them have taken this a step further. they understand when this exchange opens and they are prepared to answer and field those questions and some of them are looking within the state of kansas to what they could possibly do to make it easier for consumers to understand their choices. the medicaid department, whether expanding or not, in order to make it smoother for implementation and they were looking for a better customer experience. at the implementation stage, and this is the law of the land, they are working hard to implement the.
8:21 pm
>> you guys are cms, you are working in the bush administration, you are an administrator, an academic, all of these things. you don't agree with everything in this administration, but just from a technical perspective, and when you watch what they are doing, save your watching evening news and something comes on, what makes you say, don't do that. i don't know how much advice you give them, but what do you say? not that again? >> i don't have that reaction to news very often. but i think that it will be three times coming up or we might have some reaction. one is in september and it will be, when you see the results of the policy decisions that have been made. that is what plans have been
8:22 pm
available, that has also been across the states that have had a lot of insurance regulation having this as an adjustment, some in the state exchanges that are way out in front, maybe having a more comprehensive set of plans and we will see one that was released in september. we would point out that there are a number of people who already have individual or small group insurance coverage and are not operating under all of the rules of the federal exchanges were the rest of the long now. some of which will be significant premium increases. we will see this on october 1.
8:23 pm
we have a lot of funding for that in the administration seems to be trying very hard to put all of this together, the ones that they have deferred some of the doctor ardea mentioned, there is a difference with how technology works in theory and how this is incomplete or otherwise incompatible data and it's going to include a lot of issues around that. we will see how big that is. then there is education outreach and there are a lot of questions about how well people are going to do when they find out about this, especially for younger and healthier people. those are things i certainly have opinions on. those are the things that i would be watching, making sure that the metrics that i can follow, that this functions best with timely and up-to-date
8:24 pm
information. >> what's good october 1 on the first day we are expecting to have over a million people signing up. there will be a snapshot quality to it. on october 1, and again in the first week of january. it may dribble out a little bit more because not everybody will be getting care the first day. there are more seniors to try to get something. >> if you have a serious chronic disease in the mr. medication
8:25 pm
that. >> of the larger subset of people. texas is one of the states that is the most approached. he is sort of symbolic of the resistance and opposition. what happens in texas on october 1. do people sign up, do they say that this is the worst thing that we have ever heard of, i mean, what you see in texas? >> you get a lot of that reaction. but the medicare part d -- this is not just political. you hear about them and he read about them and about a third of those people have to be in the
8:26 pm
invincible category in order for the economics of this thing to work. so i would imagine that they are focused very much on getting to that number as quickly as they can. but it is at a point where no one is going to necessarily qualify for the subsidy. so at the end of the year, i think that there will be some difficulties there. but if the only metric is the number, there is a lot of activity in states like mine the advantage is not only to get someone signed up for insurance,
8:27 pm
and this is some point in the future that may be used to it. but you don't see a lot of it happening on the articles of the paper they are talking about the nsa and the irs and all the other things you're talking about. >> so basically you're saying -- is there evidence that they are just looking at us this and we are looking by mr.? >> so simply because we have identified what successor is in this includes 7 million people, and we need to get there pretty quickly. in order to say, well, look, this thing is working just as we planned. the whole suttons lossing because that is where the money
8:28 pm
is. >> you have a very differently and you are doing much more outrage. you are doing messaging. it is a totally different political environment, if you also have hard-to-reach populations and have non-english-speaking, you have the farm areas, plenty of young invincibleis, so that the obstacles are similar in a different political context. what are you seeing and what is happening when october comes? circuit is hard to say until october. it seems like we will be investing a huge amount in outreach and enrollment grateful campaign has not launched yet. so there are very big investments that are going to be made by california. california's state-based exchange there is also a very
8:29 pm
large campaign funded by another statewide health care foundation targeting primarily those already ordered. those need to be well targeted and focused. the question will be how effective it is at. a lot of thought is being put into targeting these populations for example, state university systems, they have sort of a natural affinity to younger people and people with families. so a lot of thought has gone into that. but approval would really be
8:30 pm
when people -- when they receive that message, what do they do. do they activate? do they go to other sources to learn more. and when they get there, do they find an attractive set of options at prices that are affordable with conditions that are understandable? the question of how the subsidies and tax credits were, that is a huge question about how people really navigate with that and engage with those choices. >> to the extent that you see what is going on in kansas. >> let me answer and say that i realize we need to add 7 million folks that we can add right now. we believe that this will impact folks and the thing that i look at the most if the cost go up
8:31 pm
dramatically for currently covered persons come in the political dynamics are such that it will be very difficult for the law to remain in the long-term. the medicare extensions will incur and eventually they will get around to that on the other hand, people won't care if we beat the 7 million of them. >> okay, 7 million if you look
8:32 pm
at people who have individual coverage now plus people who have coverage to small businesses now, it's a much larger number than 7 million. those individuals and those small businesses are going to be significantly affected by the law. the choices they have now are going to be replaced by the choices in the individual and small-business exchanges. and i think that that is an important point to watch. >> does that -- is that currently uninsured, or is that 7 million who have the ability to go into exchanges that would be in the individual market now?
8:33 pm
>> it was a broad definition but mark, to the governor's point, it is exactly correct. when we are having these discussions, the unintended consequences which will occur in 2012 just before election time, that does have the potential for significant political situations. >> may 2014? >> just. i can't get over it. [laughter] >> people are talking in the insurance industry and the cost of the individual that has something now, they are making their choice and the price point may be significantly different a year from now. >> we're taking it back to the
8:34 pm
focus in the number of 7 million. because i think that that is while the news may want to pick it up, i think that it is important for us to understand that that is not the critical debate. october 1 is when things open and it is likely that the numbers will not be met right away. looking back when this went into effect in 1997 and it took significantly longer for enrollment to happen than originally planned. that being said, i think that that is almost more analogous than medicare part b because it was folks who didn't have insurance. although i'm not saying that we can't learn a lot from the medicare implementation, we certainly can. but in the intervening years, there has been an awful lot
8:35 pm
learned about and we have a whole social media revolution and we have had a lot of research in the last couple of years that states have done to understand how to reach the target population. i am kind of excited about what bringing some of those techniques to the outreach and woman might have. but i do want to emphasize that the state leaders that we have talked with on a regular basis understand that this is not a sprint, even though it really feels like one right at the moment. it is the longer-term improvement of the health care system, getting more people quality coverage and more affordable coverage and that is the promise on the upside of these reforms. >> when you look at the states,
8:36 pm
we always knew that the states would be different and this would not designed to be a totally identical situation before the medicare element. the we would have certain choices on how to shape exchanges, who governs it, and whether it be a little bit more with massachusetts and he never thought it would be identical. you never thought that all 50 states would look the same. the gap is much broader but just in terms of medicaid and medicare, but in countless ways that we cannot understand. now, how uneven do you think the results are going to be. and in transit fuzzier now, how different will look? >> i think it is unlikely to have one model that works perfectly and there could be
8:37 pm
multiple ways that an exchanges governed. ways that it reaches the consumers. ways that it actually helps with some of the states impacting the quality and the delivery system with choices that they make in exchange. i think that there could be a positive or negative outcome for patients with different outcomes and models. what is important if we learn the lessons of what works and doesn't work. that we spread them quickly so that those that come behind and adopt those practices. >> i wanted to give the governor a couple minutes. because the political focus in the fighting and the money is focused on involvement in coverage. but there is the other 900 pages of the law and that affects how
8:38 pm
care is delivered. he is working with chronically ill and disabled and elderly individuals. it is talking about this briefly, the overlooked part of this. a few things that are interesting that either wouldn't happen without the health water when be as advanced. >> i think that is a great question and an under discussed topic. we tend to think of it as just an expansion issue. when i talk to my old boss about this or others, they have argued that this is a cost and quality issue as well. i'm very fortunate to have the position now where we are in a trade association and this has been what can we do to reduce costs at the same time and
8:39 pm
hopefully improve this. there are some parts of this that did get to that. dual demonstration is now spreading where we are trying to figure out how to coordinate the benefit and keep going with the same level. we are trying to coordinate benefits and hopefully keep costs the same or lower with increasing quality. a lot of the things are happening and are being discussed nearly as much as the expansion topic. we are moving along that whole movement of higher quality and lower cost. >> is there anything that we are really excited about? >> we have this medicare and
8:40 pm
medicaid benefit we are keeping them together it is both a threat and opportunity. if we can figure out how to do this right, it can be a terrific thing for providers and beneficiaries. but we could also have some major mistakes. we are more focused on that than we were on the expansion. >> is the medicare expansion or lack thereof going to create more unevenness in this world? >> not really. it doesn't affect long-term care providers as much as it would for hospitals and doctors.
8:41 pm
>> how has it helped as the top question, and for you you might want to say, how does it hurt. >> to give people a sense of the scope, about $100 million in the public affairs campaign over the next couple of years. it will invest huge amounts. even in a state the size of california. kaiser permanente invested in
8:42 pm
this nationwide. so again, the outreach is not well informed and it will be huge. and we will see one this is really on the ground. >> there is also a political connotation and i hope that that is what the question is getting out. this is people that are closely associated with the white house. it is unlike mma. and you don't have people at home actively -- in 2005 there were some democrats that maybe didn't like it or wanted to change it. but they didn't cater to the point that we are at right now. but they have come here and said this and that, and they would have more of a proactive
8:43 pm
average. there may be some that i'm not aware of. i don't know of any that want to have a delay in signing up. >> there would be no mechanism by which you would know how to do that. the information has been so sparse and honestly i do not attend the democratic caucuses, but i do think that we just had a big thing this week about it. there is very little information about that. that is actually with the way this whole thing has happened.
8:44 pm
we have delivered this with state employees and have cut costs and we have changed the table there on how he made us do that. it was in the health savings account with deductible savings account models. we found out something happened even if it was their own money in the first place. so again, there were a lot of opportunities that were missed and again, it is not my position to take anyway. those opportunities have continued. >> is a couple of points about campaigns. >> not exactly right. >> there is a difference that is much more modern campaign style, micro-targeting that is not what
8:45 pm
happened for technological and other reasons. social media, internet technology, i would say that that is a two edged sword and is a way of reaching people a lot faster. but there is a lot of information that the administration can control that will also spread as rapidly as the outreach and other activities that occur. >> yes, there could be some issues. the second thing is to the point of doctor burgess, our outreach and education infrastructure was led by a mixture of people, some who supported the law, others who didn't and it was focused on when they set it off a year before on information that is reliable so that people can make an informed choice.
8:46 pm
you're potentially a target for this program and how can we micro-targeted. this is not the same thing as getting somebody out to vote. it is wanting one thing to get them to engage and look at the information. but what does this really mean and is it a good idea for me to sign up and that is not just the typical campaign decision. it is a thoughtful decision that is going to be much more challenging than deciding what to buy on amazon in which hotel to book area this is big financial consequences and depends upon the circumstances. and that is not a typical
8:47 pm
strategy focus but in information focus that needs to accompany this. >> that is happening in the states that are implementing their own state-based exchanges and the partnership states that are doing assistance and at the federal level, developing the website and the consumer assistance or the facilitative marketplace. there is nobody that thinks that that is enough without having this really important education. to understand their choices come everyone in this room and out there knows that it is a lot different than the features of the newest smart phone.
8:48 pm
>> does anyone else have any questions? we will get to a microphone. >> okay, question over here. >> they do under the law have to comply with all of the requirements that the insurance has to comply with. >> are you asking about lifetime annual caps.
8:49 pm
>> just. >> there have been a number of questions about that and whether these can qualify for subsidies like individual exchange plans and the answer is no. but this is one of the many areas where the current law and policy is that yes they have to comply. >> any questions? >> the only one i have is the challenges and i think that that is something we have to talk about that. how hot will it get, i sent my husband not to buy school supplies yesterday. i will be get the right ones. >> okay. [laughter]
8:50 pm
>> daytrading process. we are getting it. >> i will never forget 2009 where this thing kicked off and i thought it was a good event. but we have the air-conditioned space in the area because there simply wasn't room for everyone that showed up. so we have been up to this for hours. i don't know that it will be that level, particularly in texas, but they can be mad about every number of things and any number of things. but i don't know that this will be low-down on the list. but there is no question that there will be some discussion
8:51 pm
about this. for not embracing the affordable care act. i have been a skeptic from day one. and i think the other thing that will come up back in texas, it is the whole issue and we have the end of the fist fiscal year coming up, there is a nexus that will be pretty important. and then we have a incredible but it's bound before the federal debt limit and how that is going to play here and do i trust the federal government but to this wester, what if i start this medicaid expansion and there is no partner there with me at the end of next year and i'm standing on my own. the funding questions are probably going to be some of the more heated ones.
8:52 pm
that will be the question are likely to. >> let me ask another question really quick question. >> it past and the subcommittee last week. we will pass this next wednesday and at some point we will likely be wrapped up into the bigler budget battles. the important thing was that it was an inclusive process with providers and patients per year and a half or two years. republicans and democrats that have worked well into the night for months on this the good news is we were able to coalesce this policy. this was one of the issues we are going to fix that.
8:53 pm
>> what is the detail when you do this outreach campaign. what is the hardest for people to grasp. i'm paraphrasing a question. >> i think that the complexity of the law is the interface of opportunity and obligation that makes it hard for all of us. we have talked about everybody evaluating mr. their homelands and circumstances when this goes forward. the issue you would hope that mobilize people as to what extent are we in this together and do i have obligation to participate now because of the short-term benefit of for broader reasons. >> as these people campaign education or whatever you choose, but there's something that just, when you hear people talking you know if it will not connect with the audience?
8:54 pm
>> i would like to talk about this, which is the importance of collaboration of collaboration among the different agencies and states in the states and the private sector and that is having successfully in places, but could be better and will need to work well going forward. >> the issue of we are on this together is maybe one reason to get insurance and it does come and take you back up from the level of what does this mean for me personally to level of what are we as a society doing about health care and that the challenge their is there are some very different views and i think most americans want to be in this together in terms of making sure that everyone gets the coverage that they need. that doesn't necessarily mean
8:55 pm
that all americans are going to support this version of doing it making this a philosophical issue is going to be a challenge. so i think the packets back to whether there are a number of people out there who would say that, you know, i would like to get coverage but i don't have that much income, it looks kind of expensive, least of policy that was cheaper for whatever reason, less generous, young and healthy and so forth and then end up not deciding and the question is how much the individual mandate will play out in all of this and i could see a lot of people deciding that they are just going to wait through this first period to see what happens. >> some people have said that they think that they may be high the first year because by definition they are conservative
8:56 pm
and it will be poisonous little bit higher. so do you think that there is judging by the first year not a single member on pricing, may become maybe, it could be our assessment? >> it is hard to say he may look different in 2015 and experiences that differ.
8:57 pm
>> it is priced at something that goes in one direction or another. >> we have another minute or two for questions. >> yet we might. >> i might say that we are going to have an interesting time at the end of the year as the congressman pointed out. there is the talk of this maybe not being short-term but permanent. the debt ceiling limit, actually having this sgr play and the discussion of the whole affordable care act may in fact become part of the debt ceiling debate that is all the drama that could occur over the debate
8:58 pm
in october. >> the timing of it is just really interesting. in the actual timeline is after the enrollment begins. but the timing of it may interact a little differently. >> how about we talk about this. what about funding for the exchanges and will states be seeking more funding than they received from the federal government and how will that work? >> states are eligible to apply for grants through august of 2014 and that is for states that could run state-based exchanges or to take on certain functions. after that they have to be fully self-sustaining. they all have different this sol
8:59 pm
sustainability and part of the marketplace. some in the exchange and they're looking at other data sources and sponsorships. it is not going to come from the treasury. ..
9:00 pm
a couple of live events to tell you about tomorrow.
9:01 pm
>> the first lady reflects the schism that's in the united states about what women are supposed to do. are we supposed to be first mate? and so to navigate that, if the president is supposed to be the head of state and the head of government, is the first lady supposed to be you know the ideal fashionista? is she supposed to be mom in chief? is she first -- supposed to be first help me but at the first help me choose really got to understand what's going on in the administration. she's got to understand what's going on in the country and she's got to understand her husband's political agenda. so you can't really separate i think how the first lady presents herself and the conflicting expectations that
9:02 pm
the country still has four working wives and working mothers. >> up next the senate judiciary subcommittee on the constitution civil rights and human rights examines the implications of closing the guantánamo bay detention facility. witnesses include members of congress who support and oppose closing the prison. this is a little less than two hours. [inaudible conversations]
9:03 pm
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
9:04 pm
>> good afternoon. this hearing of the subcommittee on constitutional civil rights and human rights are come to a payday understand senator cruz the ranking members going to be here briefly. today's hearing is entitled closing guantánamo the national security fiscal and human rights implications. we are pleased to have a large audience that demonstrates the importance and timeliness of this discussion. thanks to those of you who are here in person and those following the hearing on twitter and facebook using the hashtag close gitmo. at the outset i want to know that the rules of the senate prohibit outbursts clapping or demonstrations of any kind. there was so much interest in today's hearing that we have moved to a larger room to accommodate everyone. anyone who could not get a seat is welcome to go to the overflow room for a live video feed, 226 dirksen on the same floor. i will begin by providing opening remarks and then i will
9:05 pm
turn to senator ted cruz and senator leahy are chairman of the full committee who is now joined us for opening statements before returning to witnesses. it's been more than 11 years since the bush administration established the detention center at guantánamo bay. in that time i have spoken on the senate floor more than 65 times about the need to close this prison. i never imagined that in 2013 not only would guantánamo still be open but somewhat be arguing that we keep it open indefinitely. the reality is that every day remains open guantánamo prison weakens our alliances, inspires our enemies and calls into question our commitment to human rights. time and again our most senior national security and military leaders have called for the closure of guantánamo. listen to retired air force major matthew alexander. he led the interrogation team that tracked down al zarqawi the
9:06 pm
leader of al qaeda in iraq. here's what the general said. i listened time and again to foreign fighters and sunni iraqi's state that the number one reason they decided to pick up arms and join out qaeda for the abuses at abu ghraib and they the authorized torture and abuse at guantánamo bay. it's no exaggeration the major said tuesday that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. in addition to the national security costs, every day that guantánamo remains open we are wasting taxpayer dollars. according to updated information i received from the department of defense just yesterday on time of day detention cost for fiscal year 2012 are $448 million m. for fiscal year 2013 estimated at $454 million.
9:07 pm
do the math. 166 prisoners, $454 million. we are spending $2.7 million per year for each detainee held at guantánamo bay. what does it cost to put a prisoner and keep him in the safest and most secure prison in america in florence colorado? $78,000 a year. against 2.7 million we are spending at guantánamo. this would be fiscally responsible during ordinary economic times but it's even worse when the department of defense are struggling to deal with the impact of sequestration including the furloughs and cutbacks in training for our troops. every day the soldiers and sailors serving at guantánamo are doing a magnificent job under difficult circumstances. i went to the southern command in miami and i met with the men who were in charge of this responsibility. i can tell you that they are saddened by this assignment that
9:08 pm
they are doing exactly what they're supposed to do. at great risk and great separation from their families and personal challenge, they are accepting this assignment and they look to us as to whether the assignment still makes sense. every day at guantánamo bay dozens of detainees are being force-fed, a practice the american medical association and the international red cross condemn and a federal judge in washington recently found to be quote painful, humiliating and degrading. as president obama asked at the may 23 national security speech is this who we are? is that something are for -- founding fathers foresaw? is that the america we want to leave our children? our sense of justice is stronger than that the president said. it's worth taking a moment to recall the history at guantánamo bay. after 9/11 the bush administration decided to set aside the geneva conventions which have served us well and
9:09 pm
pass conference and set up an offshore prison at guantánamo in order to evade the requirements of those treaties and our constitution. john yoo working at the white house wrote on december 28, 2001 and office of legal counsel memo to jim haynes had said that guantánamo was quote the legal equivalent of outer space quote. a perfect place to escape the law but others even within the administration disagree. general colin powell, then the secretary of state objected. he said disregarding our treaty applications quote will reverse over a century of u.s. policy and practice and undermine the protections of the law for our own troops. it will undermine public support among critical allies making military cooperation more difficult to sustain. then defense secretary rumsfeld approve the use of abusive interrogation techniques at guantánamo.
9:10 pm
these techniques became the bedrock for interrogation policy in iraq according to defense department investigation. horrible images that -- abu ghraib seared in our memories of the most extreme techniques. guantánamo became an international embarrassment and an international controversy. the supreme court repeatedly struck down the of administration's detention policies. justice sandra day o'connor famously wrote birth the majority in the hom the case the state of war is not a blank check for president end of quote. by 2000 sick even president bush, president bush said he wanted to close guantánamo. in 2008 the presidential candidates of both major parties supported closing guantánamo. within 48 hours if it's not gration president, issued an executive order or hibbing torture and setting up a review process for all guantánamo detainees. i will be first to acknowledge
9:11 pm
the administration could be doing more to close guantánamo. last week senator feinstein and i met with senior white house officials to discuss the existing law to transfer detainees out of guantánamo. but let's be clear, the president's authority has been limited by congress. we have enacted restrictions on detainee transfers including a ban on transfers to the united states from guantánamo that make it very difficult if not impossible to close the facility. it's time to lift those objections and move forward with shutting down guantánamo. we can transfer most of the detainee safely to foreign countries and we can bring the others to the united states. we can try under federal court until the end of hostilities. let's look at the track record. since 9/11 nearly 500 terrorists have been tried and convicted in our federal courts and are now being safely held in federal prisons. no one has ever escaped from a
9:12 pm
federal supermax prison or military prison. in contrast only six individuals have been convicted by military commissions. two of those convictions have been overturned by the courts. today nearly 12 years after 9/11 after the 9/11 attacks are still awaiting trial at guantánamo. during his confirmation hearing as i discussed with the deputy attorney general the bush administration and the nominee for fbi director this whole case. here's what he told me. quote we have about a 20 year track record in handling particularly al qaeda cases in federal courts. the federal courts and federal prosecutors are effective at accomplishing two goals in every one of these situations. getting information and incapacitating terrorists in the quote. some may argue quantum of up because the risk of detainees may join and engage in terrorist
9:13 pm
activities but studies show that even in our federal prisons the recidivism rate is more than 40% , far higher than the rate of those released from guantánamo. at the often quoted recidivism testimony includes hundreds of detainees transferred under the bush administration when the standards for release were much more relaxed. no one is suggesting that closing guantánamo is risk-free or that no detainees were ever engaged in terrorist activities if they are transferred but if a former detainee does return to terrorism he will likely meet the fate of sayeed alcee theory the number two official in al qaeda in the financial who was killed in a drone strike. the bottom line is our national security and military leaders have concluded the risk of keeping guantánamo open far outweighs the risk of closing it because the facility continues to harm our alliances and serve as a recruitment true for terrorists. it's time to end this sad chapter 4 history.
9:14 pm
11 years is far too long. we need to close guantánamo. i will now recognize senator cruz the ranking member. >> thank you mr. chairman. president obama tells us the war on terror is over. that al qaeda has been decimated and that we can now take a holiday from the long difficult task of combating radical islamic terrorism. i don't believe the facts justify that rosy assessment. five years ago the president campaigned on closing guantánamo and yet guantánamo remains open as a detention facility for those deemed to be most dangerous terrorists that have been apprehended. and to date, the administration's position seems to be to continue apologizing
9:15 pm
for the existence of guantánamo. to continue apologizing for hours detaining terrorists and standing up to defend ourselves. but to do nothing affirmatively to address the problem. in particular if guantánamo is closed, it raises the fundamental question of where these terrorists will be sent. now we can embrace a utopian fiction that they will be sent to their home nations and somehow lay down their arms and embrace a global view of peace. i don't think that utopian
9:16 pm
fiction has any basis in reality we have seen, whether or sent boston or benghazi for fort hood that radical terrorism remains a real and life threat. now i have significant concerns about the obama administration's overbroad incursions into the civil rights of law-abiding americans. but at the same time i have concerns about their unwillingness or inability to connect the dots and to prevent violent acts of terrorism. and until we are presented with a good viable strategy for what to do with terrorists who would work night and day to murder
9:17 pm
innocent americans, i have a hard time seeing how it is responsible to shut down our detention facilities and send these individuals home where they almost surely would be released and almost surely would return to threaten and kill more americans. that is a question i hope this panel shed some light on, how we can responsibly proceed in protecting the national security of this country, protecting the men and women of this country who expect is the first responsibility of the federal government that we will keep the nation secure and i look forward to the testimony today on the question. >> thank you senator cruz. senator leahy. >> thank you and i do want to thank senator durbin for holding this hearing. i think it's long past time
9:18 pm
we -- this unfortunate chapter in our nation's history. you can do that and still fight terrorism as it threatens us. it is like to make up quotes and pretend the president said something about taking a holiday from terrorism but of course he never said any such thing. but i do know that for over a decade the indefinite detention of prisoners at guantánamo has contradicts their most basic principles of justice. it has degraded our international standing and by itself it has harmed our national security. i think we are still debating this issue. as long as we keep this detention center opening guantánamo it continues to serve as a recruiting tool for terrorists. such is the photographs at abu ghraib did and discredit america's historic leader in human rights.
9:19 pm
countries that champion the rule of law and human rights do not walk away prisoners indefinitely without charge or trial. countries that champion the rule of law and human rights do not strap prisoners down and forcibly feed them against their will. we condemn our authoritarian states when they do this and we should but we should not tolerate the same thing in our country. as senator durbin points out, at a time of sequestration, to be spending as much as 2.5 to $2.7 million per prisoner to hold them at guantánamo, we do it for far far less that are supermax prisons if that is the issue. i mean, how can we talk about all the things we have to take out the fire budget because
9:20 pm
things that actually benefit americans and yet we can spend this kind of a fortune down there. and talk about spending hundreds of millions of dollars more to overhaul the compound. that is what has been requested. for more than a decade we have seen persons with resources and money squandered on this long failed experiment. this is being directed to important national security missions at home and abroad. i think the waste has to end. furthermore as senator durbin pointed out the military commission system for trying these detainees is not working. a tiny handful that an impressive to two did as compared to hundreds in our federal courts, where party scene federal courts overturn two convictions in guantánamo. opinions that would prevent the military from ringing conspiracy and material support charges against detainees something that even the elite military
9:21 pm
prosecutor at wanton amo himself acknowledges. the same charges can be pursued in federal courts where prosecutors do have a strong record of obtaining long prison sentences against those who seek to do us harm. where the most powerful nation on earth. why do we act afraid to use the best federal court system we have ever seen, probably the best court system in the world? we act like we are -- do we have convicted nearly 500 terrorism suspects since 9/11 in these federal courts. so the status quo of guantánamo is untenable. i appreciate the president's renewed vow to shatter this unnecessary and expensive and unnecessary prison. a new special envoy to repatriate detainees is a positive step towards closing the facility.
9:22 pm
the periodic review board in reviewing them. now i am glad to see commonsense provisions for national defense authorization act recently reported by the senate armed services committee is implemented but it will help and i look forward to working with members of congress. i know we have witnesses waiting mr. chairman i will put- >> mr. chairman thank you for being here and thank you for the sport you have given to this subcommittee. we want to welcome the fellow members of the senate judiciary committee. not a member of the subcommittee but welcome to participate. you can come down the line if you would like. senator dianne feinstein. >> thank you senator for your comments and thank you for allowing me to sit with your
9:23 pm
subcommittee. as you mentioned i believe when i came in the room i was at guantánamo about a month ago with john mccain and the presidents chief of staff. we have been looking at the figures of cost and apparently they are much higher than we thought. if the new costs are correct, the cost of the facility is $554.1 million in 2013 and as senator leahy said that is $2.67 million per detainee. i want to point out that to keep a prisoner in maximum security and our federal system is $78,000, so this is a massive waste of money. a month ago, when i was there there were 166 inmates.
9:24 pm
most have been there for a decade or more. 10 years with no hope, no trial, no charge. these 166 detainees are slated for trial while 46 others will be held without trial until the war against terror is over. whenever that may be. 86 of them, more than half, have been cleared for transfer by either the bush or the obama administration. nonetheless, they remained in dismal conditions in legal limbo. by the end of president obama second term the majority of guantánamo detainees they are today will have been held without trial for almost 15 years. i would submit that this is not the american way and i would submit that guantánamo has been
9:25 pm
a recruiting true -- tool for terrorists. it makes the myth at a bar legal system and it really ought to be closed. we saw the hopelessness. we saw when we prepare 70 detainees were undergoing a hunger strike twice a day. american military personnel restrains a detainee in a chair by his arms, torso and feet. a tube is inserted through the nose and into the stomach and for some detainees, this has been going on for five months twice a day. i'm very pleased that you have medical testimony here today and i look forward to hearing it. but this large-scale forced feeding and this behavior is a form of protest. it's not an attempt at suicide. i believe it violates international norms and medical
9:26 pm
ethics and that guantánamo it happens day after day and week after week. so i find this unacceptable. i believe the facility should be closed. i believe all of these people can be transferred to high-security facilities in this country and that is the proper thing to do so i thank you for this opportunity. >> thank you senator feinstein. senator whitehouse do you have open comments? >> very briefly because i want to get to the witnesses but i think you chairman durbin for holding this hearing. i've been around long enough to been through several stages at guantánamo. the stage that was the worst of the worst and they were too dangerous to release them in the push of frustration released a huge chunk of them and then said okay now we are down to the worst of the worst and then they released another huge chunk of them and now we have a think 86 of 166 slated for release and we simply haven't been able to find
9:27 pm
places for them to go. we were kind of fed a bill of goods about about who was there along the road and about how dangerous they were because over and over again they have either been released in these waves are slated for release and again my time on the intelligence committee both under chairman rockefeller and chairman feinstein be heard over and over again from our national security officials about the value of guantánamo as a recruiting tool for our enemies. this is a very timely hearing and i'm grateful to the leadership of you senator durbin and the chairman of our judiciary committee patrick leahy who is here and chairman feinstein is the chairman of the intelligence committee. >> thank you senator whitehouse. his custom to swear in the witnesses i would ask the first panel to please rise. raise your right hand. do it from the testimony give it was a mini-will be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? let the record reflect all of
9:28 pm
the witness on the stand will answer in the affirmative and before but is the first witness says vincent ventured to the records taken from a retired major general michael leonard who served in the marine corps for 37 years. general leonard led the first joint task force guantánamo which established the detention facility in 2002. he couldn't be here today. he wanted to make sure his views were the record. while circulating statements evoke many a command to my colleagues the details of the statement to comply with the geneva conventions and the red cross to inspect this facility. he was rebuked by civilian political appointees. here's what he says. we squandered the goodwill of the world after we attacked our actions in guantánamo. after we were attacked by her actions in guantguant ánamo. her decision to keep guantánamo open is actually helping our enemies the general rights because it invalidates every make of the perception of the united states. to argue we cannot transfer
9:29 pm
detainees to a secure facility in united states because of the threat to public security is ludicrous" math. we are pleased to be joined here today by retired major general paul eaton. he is currently a senior bush the national security network. he required from active duty after working 30 years the united states army. from 2003 to 2004 general eaton served in iraq as the commanding general of the coalition military assistance training team or a private serving in iraq general general eaton command of the infantry center and was chief of infantry for the army and studied at west point earned a master's degree in political science from middlebury college. general eaton thank you for your service. please proceed to five minutes and your entire statement will be made part of the record and open to questions. see thank you very much. thank you member cruz and members of the committee for inviting me here to share my views on closing the guantánamo bay detention center.
9:30 pm
you mentioned that i have the last operational mission to create the iraqi armed forces. my biggest challenge when i did that was to overcome over 30 years of despotism and its impact on society and a sexily worked hard to develop the moral component to distill the adherence to the rule of law if we drilled daily the notion of civilian control of the military. military justice prisoner management in battlefield discipline. we stressed accountability. then the abu ghraib blew up on us. the day that happened, the day it hit the press by senior iraqi adviser and air force general under saddam retired and came into my office and said general we cannot understand how badly this is going to play on the arab street. we lost the moral high ground. investigation of abu ghraib by major general to go for a great american hero found that torture implemented at guantánamo was
9:31 pm
exploited to detainee operations in iraq. it was a logical outcome of our guantánamo experience. a man who served in guantánamo during the worst days of enhanced interrogation techniques were deployed to iraq to get allies interrogations. not my words. abu ghraib was the small guantánamo and one reason why i'm convinced we have to close down this detention center. you can't both guantánamo and up to shake -- after the sins of the past. improvements in detainee treatment boom in new military commission rules will not change a belief of our allies and enemies that guantánamo is a significant problem to the prosecution of u.s. national security agenda. in general and the u.s. military in particular. the argument that the guantánamo facility represents a valuable intelligence tool is simply wrong. the shelf life of intelligence
9:32 pm
has particular the people who have the potential intelligence is very short. the argument that guantánamo facilities are necessary to hold dangerous menace simply wrong. as senator durbin mentioned are supermax prisons do this quite well. we have a great many allies and alliances created for many reasons those providing for defendants. my team in iraq was composed of nine nations military and civilian. and in late-night discussions are guantánamo would come up from time to time and after abu ghraib often. some of our closest allies have refused to send those detainees because of guantánamo. we are losing intelligence opportunities every time this happens. releasing an individual at guantánamo detainee does not change our national security posture. for this soldier the fear-based argument to keep guantánamo open is hard to understand.
9:33 pm
it brought to the u.s. the prosecution and incarceration for medical treatment. the deep pain he said posed no threat to our national security. 86 men who have been cleared for transfer should be transferred. we must find lawful dispositions for all detainees as we have done in every conflict. further, guantánamo places our soldiers at risk not only because it makes america look hypocritical as we promote the rule of law but because it makes the detainees look like the warriors that they are not. our leaders in iraq would pose the question early and often, could we create more terrorists today than we managed to take off the street? guantánamo is a terrorist creating institution and is a direct facilitator and filling out the ranks of al qaeda and other terror organizations. they would attack our country and our interests.
9:34 pm
guantánamo in military terms is a combat power generator for the enemy. we as a nation are the strongest only uphold the constitution. the bill of rights the geneva convention and the other laws and treaties conventions to which we subscribe. we are the weakest when we stray from the rule of law. we have an opportunity and an imperative to close guantánamo now as we wind down combat operations in afghanistan. there is no national security reason to keep guantánamo open. in the words of one of my colleagues, they don't when in less they change us and we have got to resist that attempt at change. thank you very much. >> for good or general stephen xenakis service and medical corps officer for 20 years before retiring. a psychiatrist with an active clinical and consulting practice general general xenakis is an adjunct professor at the
9:35 pm
services university of health sciences and military medical department. he is the founder of the center for translatitranslati onal medicine and research organization developing treatments and conducting tests on brain related conditions affecting soldiers and generals. general xenakis served as advisor to the department of defense on issues relating to the care and support of servicemembers their families and graduated from princeton university school of medicine. general xenakis thank you for your service to our country and please proceed. see thank you sir and thank you member cruz and members of the subcommittee senator feinstein. appreciate the opportunity to testify today. as you said i'm board certified in general psychiatry and child let adolescent psychiatry and have extensive experience in treatment and strategic administration commanded retired at the rank of brigadier general medical centers and medical regions. the federal courts and the
9:36 pm
office of the military commissions have qualified me as a psychiatric and medical expert i have had multiple interviews, multiple interviews with detainees, advised attorneys and spend cumulatively three months at guantánamo over the past four and a half years. i am currently providing consultation and expert testimony is needed on seven current or former detainees. i've reviewed medical intelligence and military files of nearly 50. the treatment of hunger strikers at guantánamo compromises the core ethical values of our medical profession. the ama has long endorsed the principle that every competent patient has the right to refuse medical intervention. the world medical association and the international red cross have determined that forced feeding through the use of restraints is not only an ethical violation but contravenes common article iii
9:37 pm
of the treaty conventions. for spinning completely undermines the position patient relationship i destroying the trust that is essential for all clinical treatment including medical issues unrelated to force feeding. it engages physicians in the use of force against detainees. guantánamo physicians and nurses have become part of the command apparatus that uses punitive and painful methods to break the hunger strikes and uses restraint chairs, forest extractions -- the plain truth is that forced feeding violates medical ethics and the international legal obligations and nothing claimed in the name of defending our country can justify cruel inhuman and degrading treatment of another man or woman. the detention facilities at guantánamo diminished america's standing among our allies and put in question are true values. the underlying issues that
9:38 pm
contribute to the hunger strike must be addressed including ending the harsh conditions of confinement that have been put into place this year. statements in the media leave the impression that the detainees are highly trained soldiers eager to get back on the battlefield. the vast majority of these men do not picture the worst of the worst. these did cheney's pale in comparison to violent prisoners accused of serious felonies or murders that i have seen and evaluated in this country. to be clear if any detainee has committed a crime i strongly believe they should be charge prosecuted and convicted and punished accordingly. the fact is whoever most of these detainees have not been charged. they restricted oppressive conditions undermine our national security objectives. force-feeding must end. it's unethical and a form of cruel inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of our geneva convention obligations. my recommendations include first
9:39 pm
the underlying issues that contribute to the hunger strike must be resolved including expeditious release. second detainee should not be punished for engaging in hunger strikes. third, all directors -- directed sorters and protocols provided health professionals act as an adjunct must be rescinded. trust in the medical staff by detainees has been so deeply compromised. independent doctors and nurses should be brought in. fourth, the aging detainees require more complicated and sophisticated medical care. the regular rotation of clinical staff impedes continuity of care , diagnosis and treatment. places dedicated and professional military clinicians and untenable circumstances of providing suboptimal treatment to an increasingly ill population. it is not fair to the doctors,
9:40 pm
nurses or detainees. thank you for the privilege of speaking. see thank you general xenakis. we will now hear from frank gaffney the founder for security and policy. he is a weekly columnist for the "washington times" town hall and news he's the host of secure freedom radio syndicated radio program. in the 1980s mr. gaffney served in every demonstration as assistant secretary of defense for international security policy and deputy assistant secretary for nuclear forces and arms control policy. he was a professional staff member on the senate armed services committee. he received a bachelor's degree from georgetown university and a masters in international studies from johns hopkins school of advanced international studies. mr. gaffney the floor is yours. yours. see thank you mr. chairman. one small addendum i served with senator scoop jackson with a
9:41 pm
long and wonderful memory and sure. i appreciate the chance to testify and they recognize i'm in the distinct minority on this panel but i take comfort from the fact that i think i represent the vast majority of americans and certainly the vast majority of those of you in congress on this question. should gitmo be closed? i think the answer resoundingly is no unless there is a better alternative available. i would like to describe why i think there is not a better alternatialternati ves available by putting this into context if i may. and that is to describe why we have gitmo in the first place. it is because we are at war. this is the point that has seemingly been lost on a lot of those who talk about this and in sort of an abstract concept that somehow this detention facility can be removed from bad
9:42 pm
overarching problem. we are not just at war but at war because others attacked us, and in your wisdom you hear in the congress gave the authority to fight back. i'm afraid increasingly we have lost sight as to who it is we are fighting with and again i think that bears directly on the question before you all today. not all muslim stupid those that are engaged at this point -- >> please, no outbursts of approbation or disapprobation. thank you. >> the those that do adhere to this doctrine believe it is their obligation to destroy us, to force us to submit to their will. that bears directly upon this question of what happens if they
9:43 pm
are allowed to return to the battlefield. i think we all agree recidivism among those who are released from gitmo is a problem. perhaps as you said yourself i think mr. chairman it's not as bad as the recidivism in the federal prison system. that is a sobering thought which again i would argue suggest we don't want to put them into the federal prison system if it's even worse than it is a gitmo. the main point is though if the commitments these prisoners have should they be allowed out is to wage this jihad as they call it against us, until we submit. it adds urgency to the question that senator cruz asked which is how do you prevent that from happening? with the greatest of respect i would say that i would condense the idea that any of these
9:44 pm
problems are made more intractable by simply moving these people into the united states. for one thing, it does raise a question as to whether the cost that we are paying and several of you have alluded to this excessive wasteful inefficient cost, but how much has it meant that not a single one of these people or any of their friends have been able to attack us because of their proximity to a federal detention facility inside the united states. how many americans lives have been spared as a result? there is no way to know for sure but are you feeling lucky? do you want to take a chance? my guess is he will find much more violence inside the federal prison system not least because these individuals will be engaged in proselytizing their form of islam, sharia, inside the prison system but beyond
9:45 pm
that you will have almost certainly their colleagues trying to do what was done in iraq yesterday by al qaeda. which is to try to spring them or at the least inflict harm on an american community that has the misfortune, perhaps the thompson correctional facility community is for example, has the misfortune. my concern is that let's just set-aside the numbers that you might or might not feel you can safely push out. there are a number, an unknown number, that the president has apparently said his 46, that you can never try. do you honestly think that the people behind me and the people who are impelling this hearing traveling further release of those prisoners just because they are now in the united states and finally i would just say to you, you know better than
9:46 pm
i federal judges inside this country will almost certainly look, at least some of them, with sympathy on the claim that these prisoners once they are inside the united states, once they are entitled to all kinds of constitutional rights they might not otherwise have in places like gitmo that would perhaps result in their release inside the united states. i find that beyond malfeasance were we to go down that road. it is dereliction of duty and i praise you will not close gitmo and i hope my testimony will encourage you not to do that. >> the thank you mr. gaffney. our next witness is the tenet joshua fryday and member of the adjutant general corp. united states. he is currently stationed in washington d.c. at the council for military missions. lieutenant fryday served in humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts following the
9:47 pm
tsunami and nuclear disaster in japan. prior to joining the navy lieutenant fryday work for the district attorney's office and u.s. attorneys office for the northern district upon ipt received his b.a. in political science and philosophy at the university of california-berkeley graduating phi beta kappa. he received his j.d. from berkeley love. thank you for being here today. please proceed. see thank you chairman durbin ranking member cruz for inviting me to testify. i'm grateful for the opportunity share my experiences with you. while the office of the chief defense counsel for the military commissions is aware that i'm testifying today my statement is based on my own personal experience and knowledge and does not reflect the views of my office with the navy or the department of defense. over the past year i have assigned military orders to serve as defense counsel for individuals detained in guantánamo bay cuba. as you know there are 166 men.
9:48 pm
i represent one of them. his name is mohammed. people often ask me if it's difficult representing at detainee at wanton amo. i'm proud to live in a country where my commander-in-chief orders me to perform such a challenging mission. by colleagues prosecutors and defense lawyers are patriots who love their country. we are in the mattair étude performer duties with honor courage and commitment. i am here today doing my duty to talk to you about my clients at guantánamo bay. my client has now been detained by government for over 10 years. after five years of detention in 2008 he was charged with the material support for terrorism. in 2009 the military commission process halted the charges against him and were dismissed. a recent d.c. circuit court decision on don versus the
9:49 pm
united states help of material support for terrorism is now no longer a crime that he or anyone detained prior to 2006 can never be tried for in a military commission. i am not here today to ask for sympathy for the man i was ordered to represent but i would like to tell you a little bit about him. he is an afghan citizen with a third-grade education received in a pakistani refugee camp. his family went to bed after fleeing the russian invasion. he was roughly 22 years old when he was detained although he doesn't know his exact age. he is a son who is 6 -month-old when he last saw him in 2003. he has never been charged with harming anyone either afghan or american. had my client been brought to federal court instead of guantánamo he could have and would have been tried years ago. since 9/11 nearly 500 terrorists have been convicted in federal courts. in the guantánamo military
9:50 pm
commissions, six. now after decade of detention with no crime he can be charged as he sits at guantánamo imprisoned indefinitely. my client is asking how it's possible for my government to detain him for over 10 years without proving he could commit a crime. i tried best explained their people in our government government who believed that the loss of -- laws of war we are allowed to detain people indefinitely until the war is over. he then asked me you will no longer be at war with afghanistan after 2014. can i go home then? or does this war never and? is a servicemember and an attorney sworn to uphold the constitution and our strong legal conditions i don't have good answers for him. if my client is guilty of a crime he should be tried and given his day in court. so i think this committee for
9:51 pm
your willingness to listen to his story today for as long as he is in guantánamo no judge or jury ever will. we are a nation of laws and the people of principle. denying my client a trial and detaining them indefinitely is at odds with their oldest values on the eve of our revolutionary war we held trials for british soldiers responsible for the boston massacre. our founding father john adams served as one of the british soldiers defense lawyers but today even basic due process in guantánamo is denied including the opportunity to confront their accusers be presented with evidence against you and have access to counsel. our threats are real. criminals and terrorists prosecuted and jailed. our enemies must know that we will bring them to justice no matter what.
9:52 pm
as a people guided by principle and the rule of law, we can do better than indefinitindefinit e detention. for centuries american servicemembers have fought and paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect the fundamental values that define our nation. we should strive to always be faithful to those values especially when it is most challenging to do so. >> the thank you lieutenant. the last witness on the panel is elisa massimo. she is the presidency of human rights first and adjunct professor at georgetown university law center. human rights first is one of the the -- human rights advocacy groups. before joining human rights first massimo as a litigator in private practice atop philosophy in her and her j.d. from university michigan master of arts and philosophy at johns
9:53 pm
hopkins phi beta kappa from trinity university in san antonio. ms. massimo via testify before the subcommittee before and i welcome you back. these procedures be chairman durbin ranking member cruz and and members of the committee thank you for the opportunity to testify today about the importance of closing guantánamo and how we can do so in a way that protects our country our national security and our values. is a present of the organization whose central mission is to advance america's global leadership on human rights i focus on ensuring that our country remains a beacon to freedom seeking people around the world and continue to be by the power of example. that is why after the terrorist attacks on our country we joined forces with more than 50 retired generals and admirals let a former marine corps commandant at centcom commander who believe that our values and institutions are assets against terrorism not liabilities. i've been to guantánamo and met the dedicated people serving under difficult circumstances.
9:54 pm
we know and have great respect for the servicemembers and civilian defense lawyers who are struggling to navigate this untested and jerry-rigged system to break some form of justice from it. some would have you believe that guantánamo's critics are a handful of human rights activists foreigners and defense lawyers for detainees. that is not true. the loudest and most persistent calls to close the prison come from senior defense law enforcement intelligence and diplomatic officials, people with a 360 view of the cost and benefits of guantánamo that have included our national security is best served by closing it. president bush said he wanted to close guantánamo. henry kissinger called bob, a blot or national reputation. jim baker said said it has given america a very bad name. admiral damas -- mike dennis blair called guantánamo quote a rallying cry for terrorist improvement and harmful to our national security. secretary gates told president bush that guantánamo was a
9:55 pm
national security liability in a bison to close it down. major general michael leonard as he said he was in charge of standing up guantánamo in 2002 said it cost us the moral high ground. former chairman of the joint chiefs admiral mullen said one mullen said guantánamo has been quote a recruiting symbol of our enemies to general colin powell said he would close if not tomorrow but this afternoon and senator mccain has suggested it would be an act of moral courage to find a way to shutter the prison. whatever one thinks about the initial benefits of detaining prisoners at guantánamo bay is a growing bipartisan consensus that they don't longer needed. today's hearing catalog the reasons why it's imperative to transform this consensus into action. we heard about the astronomical cost of guantánamo at a time when the pentagon is furloughing more than half a million employees. general eaten her mind is the impending end of combat operations are in a similar choir to change in detention authorities. general said to describe the deterioration of file at deterioration of my all at once,
9:56 pm
and degraded mental state of many prisoners combinaticombinati on that is leading to a tipping point and lieutenant fryday told us how guantánamo has worked a system of justice. in many ways to struggle with al qaeda is a war of ideals here that is the telegram in which our country should have the greatest advantage to sometimes when we lose our way outsiders who admire her buddies can remind us who we are in what we stand for so family members of guantánamo detainees have written letters in advance of this hearing and i want to quote from them. they'll go for an algerian who has been detained for more than a decade without charge and has been cleared for release wrote one in 2002 is told he was detained by the americans i thought at least he would have a right to a fair trial. i thought his rights would be respected and justice would prevail. what i feel today is mostly in comprehensive -- and compression. how can a station on the prices up on defending human rights close its eyes to these violations of the founding principles? -- has been held for more than a
9:57 pm
decade without charge. he too simply for transfer. his mother wrote they did not understand why my son is telling guantánamo after all these years when we know he has been cleared. we never thought the united states was the kind of place where people could be held like this. we have often talked about who we are as a nation but sooner or later who we are cannot be separated from what we do. as we wind up the war in afghanistan we must expunge the legacy of guantánamo and restore america's reputation for justice and the rule of law. the question is not why or if and how. today human human rights first has has published the conference's exit strategy with a detailed plan for closing the prison rate among the challenges facing our country today closing guantánamo is far from the most complex. while it may be politically complicated as senator mccain recently said it's not rocket science. it is a risk management exercise and the risk is manageable. with leadership from the president and congress we can get this done. thank you again for convening this hearing and listening to
9:58 pm
our views. we are deeply grateful for your leadership mr. chairman of this in and so many other human rights issues. >> the thinks ms. massimo. we'll have rounds of questions and i ask each to stick with those time-limited they can and again i think the panel. let me start at the beginning. marion illinois a small city in southern illinois. it's a great town in a rural setting. it has a federal prison. incarcerated in a federal prisoner convicted terrorist. i've never heard one word from a person living in marion illinois about fear associated with those terrorists being in that prison. the notion that marion and other places for federal prisons exist is that our federal prison is pretty good. people can't escape from them and the communities around them feels pretty safe. mr. gaffney the notion of sending the worst of the worst
9:59 pm
to the florence supermax prison 30 miles away from any city in the middle of nowhere where they can have little or no communication with the outside world, why does that frighten you? >> senator i'm concerned as i said in my testimony that there will be more violence inside the prisons secondly i think we cannot be sure but i think the safe bet on the basis of experience experience elsewhere- >> excuse me have you been inside of a supermax prison? >> i personally have not had the privilege of being inside a supermax prison. >> please. i visited a similar facility most of them are in a very restricted lockdown condition. it is rare for them to have more than one hour day outside of the detention facility and then usually by themselves. so how do you believe they will be able to incite problems within the florence supermax? >> i'm so glad you asked that. one of the things that is concerning me is what we are seeing them in the prisons writ
10:00 pm
large go not just the supermax but i think it includes the supermax and that is the proselytization. this factor we have have imams brought in for the purpose of catering to the muslim population in the process also if converting them and promoting this doctrine. ..
10:01 pm
>> these are people that we have met and worked with every day. some associated with their religion, assuming the prison authorities will pay no attention and pursues perhaps that everyone brought in is dangerous. and i think that that is dangerous. >> a quick response. the fellow who started this chaplain in the federal prison is now in prison himself. he is a terrorist, he is a man who created among other things, in the structure inside the united states for promoting sharia law through the muslim brotherhood. but will they be at risk? i am not sure. but i'm concerned that they might be. it makes us a target for
10:02 pm
terrorism and an opportunity to create a spectacular incident. that is what these guys are about. >> sir, there are domestic game members and leaders of extremist groups from all over the united states incarcerated and they are handled very professionally and securely so that communities but for the opportunity to have a federal prison constructed near they are. >> okay. >> i believe the president should live according to his promise. but i also believe that congress has made that seemingly difficult with restrictions that we have put in place turn of the transfer of these detainees. >> yes. i would like to say one word about the federal presence. because i had some of the same questions and i understand that many have these anxieties and asked about what they thought about whether they could handle these kinds of prisoners and
10:03 pm
they said, do you know who is in there now. these are not nice people. but we know how to handle this, we have this. senator graham said it is absurd to corrections officials cannot handle this population. you have said that they have made closing one from of a more typical. i was headed to the senate defense authorization bill hasn't keep who did some provisions that would give greater authority to the commander in chief we also in our exit strategy document that we have released today, we have broke down the population of guantánamo and it is essentially about the math. the majority of those people have been cleared for transfer. there president has now been appointed the leader at the state department to take on this
10:04 pm
challenge and we are waiting the appointment of a leader the leader at the defense department to do the same. there is urgency about this as you have heard from senator feinstein about what is going on down there about the hunger strikes. this is something which the president and congress has to work with each other on. leadership is the central and congress needs to trust the commander in chief to make these decisions sumac lieutenant joshua fryday, thank you for your compelling testimony and thank you for reminding us what we are all about in this country when it comes to the rule of law. it just stands out in this man's biography, john adams, before he was elected president. british soldiers were accused of massacring people. it's where we started as a nation we have continued. you have had a foot in both sides pretty have been a prosecutor at the federal level in the criminal justice system
10:05 pm
and now you have defense counsel when it comes to military commissions. some in congress argue that we just can't trust these people. if we give them a miranda warning, others point to the record that over 500 accused terrorists have been successfully prosecuted through the courts before military commissions. what is your view about the proper place and tribunal for these trials? >> sumac thank you for your question and comments i can say that having been in guantánamo and seen -- we are still litigating coconuts people can take in meetings. what kind of close they can wear.
10:06 pm
and what rights apply. it is very much a confusing system. a very slow and inefficient system. as you indicated, is a much slower system than the federal courts. there are still a lot of barriers in place in that system. barriers for counsel and issues of attorney and client privilege and classification are confusing. rules that are relaxed in the system. so there are a lot of differences that still need to be worked out as we move forward. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to thank you for coming here with your testimony today. it seems to me the this inspires a great deal of passion and emotion. it also seems to me that our national security policy should not be derived simply from bumper sticker ideology but rather from careful and hard decisions about how to protect
10:07 pm
the national security of the united states. there are two facts that i think are facts that i have heard very little discussion of. the first is as of january 2013, director of national intelligence and the obama administration says that 20% of former detainees at guantánamo reengaged and terrorism. that is a very inconvenient fact that would lead a substantial risk of these individuals. the second fact is which is on monday of this week, about 500 prisoners, including senior members of al qaeda, escaped from this prison, which is now
10:08 pm
controlled by the iraqi security forces. and i think that that likewise underscores the inherent risks in line on foreign facilities to detain known terrorists, particularly terrorists for whom there is a substantial risk of their re-engaging in terrorism if they find themselves at large. the first thing i would like to ask, well, first i would like to thank you for your years of service. as of november 2012, there are 166 detainees in guantánamo. is there any reason to believe that if those individuals were released, that this rate would be any less than the guantánamo detainees have reengaged and terrorism at a rate of 20%
10:09 pm
according to the dni? >> i spent a career managing risk. soldiers never get all of the assets they need down to zero. the question could also be posed is the existence of guantánamo we must have the system. our intelligence architecture provided this if we accepted 20%. then we have that same intelligence architecture that will help us fight down the risk of placing those individuals back and care of countries that will take care of them, which is a requirement this body has imposed upon the secretary of defense. the certification process. so when we talk about releasing
10:10 pm
the 86 that are cleared for release under conditions that meet the expectations of the secretary of defense has to certify, then i think it is appropriate, and i think that the risk associated with that is indeed relatively low. it is not zero. i live in a military world accounts for risk and take the risk down in america has a great deal of this. >> if i understood this directly, it is we can act to mitigate the risk of re-engaging terrorism. it seems to me that you did not dispute the premise of my question. these individuals if released, we can expect to engage in
10:11 pm
terrorism at least the same rate. but i would suggest to you that surely this was not the most dangerous, presumably for those that we assumed would be the least dangerous. the rational inference would be those remaining, what, if anything, returned to terrorism at a higher rate and not a lower rate. >> senator, predictions are very hard. especially in regards to the future. and we have a population that is unknowable and thus risk greatly mitigated. and i can't put a figure on it. >> with respectable go to zero with respect to those detainees if they remain detained.
10:12 pm
we are talking about the risks of future acts of terrorism. let me say more probably. we get applause from various audiences. the harder question is what do you do with these terrorists. we send them to the u.s. detention facilities. including the chairman and no annoying who is willing to host these terrorist. i don't know what the citizens of illinois or texas would think about this. but i would note that we have had multiple instances in federal prisons engaging in terrorism and directing terrorist acts from federal prisons.
10:13 pm
when the alternative is to senate foreign locations, whether it is nations like yemen or other allies and it is hard to have any confidence in that they will in due course be released and commit future acts of terrorism in the lives of americans. i want to pose and it has been reported that the president, under the obama administration, approximately 395 people have been killed by joan strikes. are you aware of any reasonable argument that somehow more protective of human rights and civil liberties to fire a
10:14 pm
missile at someone from a drone and kill them but it would be to determine their guilt or innocence for what intelligence might be derived from that individual? >> mr. chairman, i think i neglected after this could be put in the record. there is also a short letter from the military officers that i would like to have in the record. senator cruz, i'm probably not the best arbiter of what is humane. we have a lot of people that spent their time on that. i kind of focus on national security. but just as a human being, i think that if you kill people, that is typically less humane than incarcerating them. letting people starve to death, it is less humane than feeding them involuntarily if necessary.
10:15 pm
>> we give no actionable intelligence from someone in this -- >> for closing the option to detain people. i would suggest as senator feinstein knows, a real impediment to our ability to prosecute and to prosecute war like the one that has been by people who operate with a high regard for operational security. to the extent that we deny ourselves unilaterally. this ability by putting them in a place where we can have those kinds of interrogations. i believe, as i said earlier, i think it is a dereliction of duty on the part of the commander in chief. >> thank you, general. >> mr. chairman, i wonder if i could respond to this question that senator cruz raised.
10:16 pm
the claim that 20% of guantánamo detainees have rejoined the fight is highly misleading. and defense department officials have said that many detainees included in that category are merely suspected of having some associations with terrorist groups and very well may have not engaged in activities that threaten our national security. but that doesn't mean that all the prisoners are somehow innocent farmers and has no risk. you know, a lot of people at guantánamo are precisely what we look to and some of them could cause harm if they are released.
10:17 pm
but that doesn't mean we are talking about the others who believe in the same cause and there are sadly no shortage of potential suicide bombers. one, there's nothing to solve that problem. in fact, it probably makes it worse. >> senator feinstein remount. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i want to ask a question of lieutenant friday. he served as an intern in my san francisco office, perchance? >> probably, ma'am. >> welcome i am very proud of you. i just wanted to say that it's. [applause] >> isn't it true that some of the detainees who have not been cleared for transfer now, as you have spoken it can only be prosecuted in the federal criminal court, because the charges of conspiracy and material support are no longer available in the military
10:18 pm
commission. is that not correct? >> that is correct, ma'am. >> so what we are saying is for those, if there is there is no alternative for prosecution in federal court, they remain without charge or trial until he and the time. >> it is a charge that can be charged as a federal crime. so it's not something that can be charged in the military commission. but it is a charge that is available. >> that cannot be tried by a military commission. is that not correct? >> that is correct. >> the only hope would be that they have to be transferred out and be tried in federal court. >> year that report through a meaningful process like it was set up for the country determines that they are no longer a threat.
10:19 pm
>> okay, let's talk. the military commission is an effective instrument. i have believed. how many cases have they actually tried? >> there have been six convictions in the military. >> can you explain to us exactly what those six convictions are and who is still serving? >> six convictions were for hicks and [inaudible name] and [inaudible name]. because i do not serve, we do know that this has since then been overturned by the dc circuit court for saying, as i described in my testimony, the charges he was charged -- >> maybe i could give them to you then. he received a five-month sentence and he was sent back to
10:20 pm
his home in yemen to serve the time before being raised in 2009. in october of 2012, they vacated the conviction for material support because the charge was not recognized as a violation o. hicks was the first person convicted in a military commission when he entered into a plea agreement of material support on terrorism charges in march 2007. he was given a nine-month sentence which he served in australia. and let guilty to conspiracy and material support and a military jury delivered a 14 year sentence, but the final sentence handed down in server 2001 was two years to the plea agreement. he has returned to sudan at the
10:21 pm
conclusion of the sentence in july 2012. he pled guilty to material support and a judge delivered a 14 year sentence for the sentence will be left then three years pursuant to the plea agreement. because of credit for time served, he could be eligible in december and that that omar kotter pled guilty with military support to terrorism and spying. he was sentenced to a year in 10 years ghostwriter to a canadian prison where he will serve out his remaining sentence and be eligible for parole after he serves a third of the sentence. one of them is your prime. the sentence was very few and very low of the military commission and i have sat here
10:22 pm
over the years and wondered what we doing and why are we maintaining this farce of a military commission which really doesn't work. and we have different people down or trying to make it work. but that to the best of my knowledge, no one has been successful. last month when i was down there, i saw a spanking new court room with nothing scheduled to go forward. it just seems to me that everything down there is so deceiving and is really a kind of untruth about the american way and the american judicial system and america's humanitarian treatment and force-feeding is not humanitarian and yet goes on and on. there is no end to this war. yet that we know of. unless facility is closed, it
10:23 pm
will continue to go on. you have do you have any other, you like to make more generally in? >> could i just make a quick comment? >> shir. >> i think this question of whether over on and on goes back to the point of trying to make earlier and that is not entirely up to us. the president saying that we have to submit. specifically this question of will there be more of this recruiting if we leave it open. i think it begs the question compared to what. >> sir -- >> does it get worse if you actually have one of these jihadist inspired by submission? that is what i'm concerned about. >> i read the intelligence daily and i know what is happening. i know that guantánamo
10:24 pm
contributes nothing positively and nothing that a federal prison could not do better. it contributes nothing but a federal court could not do better. >> if we close it, that could contribute. >> i profoundly disagree. i think it will send a signal that finally we have learned something and i saw the people there. these are not robust. i think it's a very different picture than people have imagined. >> you agree. >> yes, ma'am. >> look at the prisoners coming out of israel and how they are regarded and how they have inspired jihad is an. >> it is a similar phenomenon and that is why i called your attention this underpinning. >> i hope someday that you go take a look. in any event, i want to say thank you, mr. chairman.
10:25 pm
i appreciate to be here. >> thank you, senator. we have two house members who were delayed by votes. and i have never seen this happen. >> i'm sure that won't have you serve in the house. we are honored to have congressman adam smith is part of the armed services committee. as well as the congressman who is enrolled at west point and graduated first in his class. >> so we will ask each of them to make a statement. congressman smith? >> thank you, mr. chairman.
10:26 pm
i am honored to be here. we should put together more often. i'm not here to argue that we should stop detaining and interrogating suspects were that we should talk about the suspects. i think that the 84 inmates that we have designated should be released. but that is an entirely separate question where we hold them. with guantánamo bay you have to balance the cost and the benefit and there is literally no benefit to keeping guantánamo bay opened. all of the arguments i've heard about the necessity to detain and interrogate, which i agree with completely.
10:27 pm
the necessity and over the last several years, we have become unaware of the fact that we already hold hundreds of terrorists in united states super max prisons. including many notorious al qaeda operatives. we continue to do that right here in the united states safely and efficiently. i might add very much more cost effectively. the average cost is like 1.5 million per year in guantánamo bay. there will be transitions and in the long run there is no question to hold them here in the u.s. senate is in guantánamo. so the question is what is the benefit of keeping a prison open. there is absolutely none. there have been arguments made about somehow more constitutional rights will apply
10:28 pm
it to come to the u.s. supreme court has already ruled that guantánamo was treated like the u.s. and that is why they granted kbs and there are no greater constitutional rights here. so what is the cost? well, the cost is the cost. the sheer amount of money that we have to spend. to understand how the international community looks at one time out. and that was opened in the first place is an effort to get around the united states constitution. the hope that if we help them outside of the territory of the united states, we would not have to abide by those constitutional values and rules so that we hold dear in this country. and the world knows that. it is an international eyesore as a result. as it turns out, the supreme court says nice try, but you are in control of them so the constitution does in fact apply it secretary gates, john mccain, many hard-core republicans have
10:29 pm
said that we need to close this prison because it is hurting us with allies and inspiring our enemies. i'm not going to tell you that the only reason al qaeda attacks us is because of a content one at time of day. far from it. stand as a recruiting tool. so i proposed was an orderly way and the president has put out a plan for how we should go about closing guantánamo bay. these are arguments that you cannot separate. this is not about whether we should hold them. it is about where we should hold them. and holding them in guantánamo bay hampers our efforts to successfully prosecute the war against al qaeda. he continues to be a piece of
10:30 pm
evidence that our allies used to say that we don't want to cooperate with u.s. because we don't like the way that they implement their constitution or the way they treat prisoners. that hampers them. the only argument left hanging out there is that we cannot safely hold these people in the u.s. i find not to be ridiculous because we are safely holding hundreds of terrorists not to mention mass murderers and pedophiles and some of the most dangerous people in the world. if united states of america is incapable of successfully holding a dangerous inmate, and we are all in a world of hurt, guantánamo bay are no guantánamo. hopefully understand that. also the notion that this will somehow inspire al qaeda more. i hate to tell you, but they are sufficiently inspired right now and doing everything they can to attack us. i applaud the various efforts to
10:31 pm
put forth to stop that. instead of having these terrorist inmates, maybe we have many that will massively increase the threat and it's just ridiculous. there is no benefit and the cost is great. let's get around to closing guantánamo as soon as we can. >> thank you, commerce and smith. >> thank you. it is an honor to be here with you today. i agree with mr. smith that al qaeda is very much inspired. i was at guantánamo bay this past may. i would like to dispel a couple of facts up front. every american should be proud of the integrity shown by u.s. military personnel caring for these detainees. their work is difficult, but they bring the highest honor and care to the work that they do their with the members of the joint task force. second. there are no human rights violations occurring at guantánamo bay. no doubt that the detainees are held in conditions that meet or
10:32 pm
surpass -- >> thank you. >> there is no doubt that they are held to standards and given the safe and secure environment, it provides movement for activity than they would in a maximum-security u.s. prison and they have access to gym equipment and operate medical and dental care and health care matches the level of accuracy by the u.s. military personnel. i would like to talk about the current hunger strike there. this is a political stunt. it is encouraged by the detainees and should not be rewarded. we were force-feeding them is simply wrong an accusation. we are carefully monitoring the site medical personnel and those in command and it is right to continue to provide these detainees nutrition. talking about the
10:33 pm
constitutionality, some continue to question it. we have to start with the basic fact that we continue to be a warwick al qaeda and groups who daily seek to kill americans. the courts have confirmed that the capture of enemy combatants is necessary to the conduct of this war. there is no question about the constitutionality of the detention in guantánamo bay. let's talk about the quality concerns surrounding this. first of all, currently we have been off the battlefield for some time, yet we may continue to provide valuable intelligence that we shouldn't focus just on those who are there today. as i said, we are engaged in the counterterrorism battle around the globe and they continue to have a secure location, which contains captured enemy combatants and it has enormous potential to our efforts to continue to identify and defeat
10:34 pm
our enemy. i just returned from a trip to afghanistan and i can tell you that there are many folks there that the options would be to kill or capture and we will serve our national security interest are better at we are able to capture them. we talk about options. as i heard the senator speak about, we have a very high rate, whether it is 10% or 15% or the studies have shown one quarter of the detainees. i can assure you we will have american service members killed as a result of releasing detainees from guantánamo bay. al qaeda conducted a major attack on two facilities, some who were senior al qaeda warriors. the transfer to third parties is not a solution to keeping america safe. it also presents another risk, human rights risk to which we send those detainees.
10:35 pm
we cannot permit that. twice in the last 48 hours, members have offered amendments to the defense appropriations bill and twice those bills have been defeated. the american people understand that bringing these detainees back to the united states is not a workable solution. i want to talk about the damage that has been done to national security surrounding guantánamo bay. after 40 years, the president continues to insist that we pursue a political goal in later figure out a way to meet the real mission. the president knows, he knows full well and he has spoken about it but not all of those prisoners are transferable or returnable, including the 9/11 five. no one believes that they are going to come back, including this president, yet he continues to use the rhetoric of one-time of a closer. he seems far more concerned with
10:36 pm
mollifying and defending against the dangers that these proposed to the american people by insisting on a counterterrorism strategy or the president continues to do great harm to america's national security interests. thank you for your time today. i yield back. thanks very much, commerce one. >> thank you, congressman. i grew up as the son of a foreign service family and i spent a lot of time in southeast asia. it was the good ability to talk about this, president clinton who was a master articulator,
10:37 pm
saying that the power of our example as americans has always been more important in the world than any example of our power. i recently ran across this from 1825 where he said the last hopes of mankind, therefore they rest with us. meaning americans. and if it should be proclaimed that our example had the common argument against the experiment, he continued that popular liberty would be sounded throughout the u.s. so i would just like those of you who represent our country overseas to react to those
10:38 pm
thoughts and explain where in the range of military power and diplomatic persuasion, where do you think the example that america presents to the world stands in the assets that we bring to bear support around the world. >> senator, thank you very much. human rights has stenciled on their wall a quote from one of my favorite presidents, and white house in higher dwight eisenhower. do we want america >> we want america to be represented by a man who flew
10:39 pm
back with me from africa who had just built a very large industrial chicken farm in an african country. i will tell you that as a soldier, i would suggest far better representation by a man who knows how to bring agricultural expertise and my sons and daughters with rifles overseas. we are far better served by her economic powers than by our extraordinarily fine military. thank you. >> senator, i'm not sure if this qualifies her candidate for answering this. beverages offer that the idealism that you have described in the general just refer to, it is certainly commendable and we should strive for it. yet it has to be tempered by
10:40 pm
this, when you are confronting people who are not moved by her example, and may be affected, i think you need to be able to bring both to bear. in this case, i had a colloquy with senator feinstein about this. i just have to return, if i may, to the extent that an enemy like the one we have confronted today actually perceived weakness and not as dissuasive or exemplary or desirable. the dangers of making a miscalculation here. not because it is the way we would like things to be, but because it is the way that the enemy perceives a response to these things and simitian is their goal. our submission is their goal. i guarantee you that they will pursue the closure of guantánamo
10:41 pm
bay as evidence of accomplishment. >> i just have to react to that. because i have to disagree. george washington led armies that left bloody footprints in the snows of valley forge with no certainty that their enterprise would succeed and pledging their lives and fortunes and sacred honor would not put them at the end of a rope. yet they did not torture the hessians. when they caught them, they did not foresee them. you can go on and on with the example of burden in the shadow of hitler's not csm, throwing out other secure intelligence facility, someone had the nerve to lay hands on one of their prisoners partly because they knew it was bad practice in intelligence gathering and partly because it wasn't who they were. we are still proud of the way that britain stood up, even before we got into the war when
10:42 pm
they stood alone and winston churchill was going to be a figure in history because of that. over and over again, they refuse to use those techniques is actually a measure of their strength and you could just as easily make the argument that we are strengthening al qaeda and our enemies by treating them as if they were more dangerous than germany and require us to fear from standards of decency and conduct that have characterized this nation since its inception. >> senator, are you finished? >> think you'd. >> okay, before we adjourn this meeting. i think the panel and i would like to ask you to note one particular thing. fifteen years ago today, at this moment, at 3:40 p.m., two of the officers of the capitol police were shot down and killed in the
10:43 pm
capital by a mad man with a gun. officer jacob chestnut and detective john gibson. each year at this time when the senate and house are in session, we have a moment of silence and i would like to ask all those to please join us and stand for a moment of silence. >> enqueue. a paragraph [moment of silence]
10:44 pm
>> thank you very much. i have a scripture to read. thank you to my colleagues in the house. there's been a great deal of interest in today's hearing. including david irvine, 26 retired admirals. the full will be added in the record. the national religious campaign against torture and the air force captain, tom wilner, my friend, tom sullivan, former u.s. attorney for the northern district of illinois and i would also like to note that two other attorneys in chicago in addition to tom sullivan represented these detainees as well and they give extraordinary amounts of time and help in bringing justice to the situation and we also received more than a dozen statements from family members of those detained in guantánamo
10:45 pm
bay. i want to thank the human rights organization reprieve for ensuring these individuals were allowed to share their perspective. without objection from i would like to place the statements in the record. it will be open for a week to accept additional statements. these will also be submitted one week from today and the later. we will ask them to respond properly if they can. there are no further comments from the colleagues, i would like to thank everyone for attending and my colleagues for participating. there's a difference of opinion, honestly expressed today. and that is what the system of government is all about. the we would come together with differences of opinion in a peaceful gathering and debate an important policy relative to our values and our security. i believe that this subcommittee, which has a responsibility to deal with issues involved with the constitution and human rights and civil rights, has a responsibility to raise these controversial issues on a regular basis.
10:46 pm
i'm sorry that it has been five years since we have had a hearing on guantánamo. i guarantee that if it continues to be open, there will be another hearing very soon. the subcommittee stands adjourned. [applause] [applause] ♪ ♪ double mocha ♪ ♪ ♪
10:47 pm
♪ ♪ ♪ [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
10:48 pm
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> the obama administration administration says that it will not declared egypt's government overthrow a coup along with economic aid to the country. at a capitol hill hearing on thursday from the former ambassador to egypt, general kercher, recommended quiet diplomacy dealing with the most populous country. here is some of what he said.
10:49 pm
>> i think that we need to understand that the egypt and u.s. relationship that we have enjoyed for more than three decades as changing and is changing rather rapidly. the degree to which our existence in the late 1970s and 1980s and 1990s contributed to major changes in egypt, we have helped to transform the egyptian military from a military reliant upon soviet doctrine and training and weapons to a military that is basically interoperable with ours. it provides mythic and strategic assistance to whatever we do in the middle east as we know. we have created a partnership with the chechen agencies and intelligence and counterterrorism agencies that has been a direct benefit to the united states in our own effort to counter terrorism against us and against our interests. we have helped to change the egyptian economy from the statist economy that hosni
10:50 pm
mubarak inherited an economy that is dominated by the private sector, although there are still changes the need to be affected to make this an economy that provides its benefits fairly to all egyptian people. investment that we have made in egypt over the past decade has paid off and it is an investment that we need to consider as we think about what we want to do in the future. our leverage with respect egypt today is reduced, and we need to understand that. the degree to which we do can help us see egypt through what some are called a second chance in its own revolution, also for us to redefine this important strategic relationship. in that respect, i believe that it would be shortsighted to cut aid to the egyptian military at this time. in fact, as i say in my written testimony, we should have considered doing this years ago because egypt's needs have been
10:51 pm
economic with helping transform this to a military and to cut that ate off now would lose us the one partner that has proven to be stable and reliable in pursuit of our objectives. our objectives should be to see egypt through this crisis and to help out by providing advice quietly. we tend to stay in this country that there is reaction and we tend not to sit back and see how trends are going along. quiet advice may be the order of the day. secondly i think our own actions in this respect need to be tempered as well, understanding that the egyptian people are a proud people and they are going to define their own future and we can help them do it, but we cannot make demands of them and expect them to do so because we are providing assistance.
10:52 pm
thank you, mr. chairman. >> you're watching c-span2 at politics and public affairs weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. watch key public policy events in the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our website. you can join in the conversation on social media sites as well. >> in a few moments, a hearing on the budget request for the national park service. in about two hours from a discussion of health insurance exchanges in regards to the new health care law and then the joint economic committee looks at infrastructure projects. >> on the next "washington journal", a conversation on the performance of the u.s. economy since president obama took office. our guests will look at global
10:53 pm
energy production and consumption and we will talk with the head of the u.s. energy information administration and the center for strategic and international studies. "washington journal" is live on c-span2 everyday at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> this is the history of popular culture. it is a collection of stories, rather, on the history of popular culture. it is quite more than that. i think that what we have been trying to do is figure out more detail with how popular culture impacts the politics and other arenas. it is not just about pop culture and what we have in this way. we have stories about popular
10:54 pm
music, sports biography, we have history of the media entities, newspaper. there are a range of things and i formulated this and i purposely cast a wide net to see what woodwork. >> war with the founder and publisher sunday at 8:00 p.m. on "q&a." >> a hearing on this year's budget request for this year's park service. in about an hour we hear from the head of the park service. first, testimony from oklahoma senator tom kovac. >> the energy and natural resources committee will come to order.
10:55 pm
in 2016, just three years from now, the national park service is going to celebrate its centennial anniversary and while the creation of our national park system is one of our country's greatest successors, the park service faces significant funding challenges in taking care of the more than 400 national parks and monuments and other sites that congress and the president have entrusted into its protection. it has now a deferred maintenance backlog that is estimated at $11 billion and is perhaps higher. the backlog grows each year. meanwhile, the park service like every other part of the federal government, faces significant limitations on the funding that congress appropriates in the care of our national parks and it is unlikely that the appropriation levels are going to increase anytime soon. certainly not increase in
10:56 pm
minimum necessary it would fully address the deferred maintenance backlog. given these challenges, the senator and i wanted to schedule this hearing so that the committee can explore and consider new ideas to help to fund the park service for the next century. it wouldn't be unless you refer to national parks being the best idea that we ever had. it is certainly keeping to be a very popular idea. despite the budgetary challenges, the senators of both political parties continue to push for new and expanded parks in her home state. already we are calling for studies of new national parks and we are being referred to this committee and another several bills would establish these parks and would expand the size of existing park areas. these bills are evidence of the extraordinary popularity of the
10:57 pm
national parks and desire to protect new areas and china stories that are not adequately represented in the national park park system. i support many of those efforts and one of the bills is legislation that i have proposed to expand this national monument. so i understand the desire and the need that americans are expressing to protect these special places. at the same time, my view is that the congress has to come up with fresh and creative ideas to help the park service make tangible headway with its maintenance backlog to ensure long-term viability of our parks system. for example, today i'm going to want to explore with witnesses the idea of raising fees for non-us citizens like many other
10:58 pm
countries do. for example, this could apply to the camping permits the very popular. the argument of looking at an idea like this is that those individuals don't pay taxes to support the products. and there is a very high volume and an increasing volume of visitors. the senator and i were interested in having doctor coburn here today because he has been persistent in advocating for the need to address this preferred maintenance backlog for quite some time. as he does on so many issues, he makes it clear that you cannot just pretend that problems don't exist. you must step up. you have to look, as i indicated, at real and creative
10:59 pm
approaches you can build bipartisan support for to address these concerns. he is raising legitimate questions about how the park service is going to be able to properly care for national parks and how it will be able to address the cements funding back on. the senator and i thought it was appropriate that he beat off a hearing we can get his perspective and consider the real issues that he has raised. we thank him and we will hear from him in just a few moments. the last one i wanted to is that is the centennial gets closer, we are going to examine all of the creative ideas that have been proposed. ..
11:00 pm
we are going to details about that. the park service primarily is reliant on federal appropriations to fund for maintenance projects and agencies able to use revenue collected from park

Tonight From Washington
CSPAN July 25, 2013 8:00pm-11:01pm EDT

News/Business. News.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 27, U.s. 20, America 15, United States 14, Feinstein 9, Texas 9, Durbin 8, GuantÁnamo Bay 8, Abu Ghraib 7, Washington 7, California 7, Iraq 6, Gitmo 4, Geneva 4, Egypt 4, Afghanistan 4, Leahy 3, Illinois 3, Eaton 3, Obama Administration 3
Network CSPAN
Duration 03:01:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 17
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 7/26/2013